Race Report: PolarBear Sprint Tri

On Saturday I completed my first tri of the season! Last week I was going to write a goals post for the PolarBear, but then I realized I didn’t even train for this race and thus I had no real goals. This race really just snuck up on me. I registered for it back in December when it first opened for registration, and then I forgot about it until about two weeks ago.

I hadn’t swam in almost two months, I rode my bike outside for the first time this year a week ago and also did my first and only brick prior to this race then as well. Nothing like being super prepared for this race! I raced the PolarBear last year and had a decent race, even with my knee injury. Last year I thought I was going to DNF because I could barely run. This year at least my knee was fine. I was just worried about my severe lack of fitness.

Before the masses hit the pool

Before the masses hit the pool

The Swim

Since this is a pool swim there were 10 waves of swimmers that spanned from 8:30-10:30am. I racked my bike around 7:45am and then had to wait until 10:30 to swim, because I was so lucky and was assigned the last swim wave. Urgh! Most people were done with the race even before I started. Reason number one I hate pool swim tris. I swam for the first time in about 2 months on Wednesday night. I knew going into the PolarBear that was swim was going to bad. That is was. I shared a lane with another girl who totally lapped me. At least I flip-turned the entire 525 yards! I’m the type of swimmer that needs a lot of warm-up time before I can settled in and find my groove. I’m a much better open-water swimmer as well, since I suck at kicking. I felt like drowning throughout the swim, but managed to muscle my way through it. I was never out of breath so I could have pushed it a bit more, but I just wanted to survive in one piece. Last year I swam a 9:20 or 1:47/100 yard pace. This year I was definitely slower.

Swim: 9:54 (1:53/100 yds) 5/15 AG; 114/253 OA

The Bike

The only bike that I have ridden in 2 months was a spin bike. I was doing super good building back my power from December to mid-February and then I stopped. I rode my bike for the first time outside (and in 2 months) last Sunday. I had no expectations for this bike leg. I just didn’t want to embarrass myself too much. I made a quick transition. On the way out of transition I lost the straw to my water bottle and thus had no way to drink any water on my bike. I was super thirsty too, so this was not a pleasant situation. It was only 11 miles and I could get water at mile 1 of the run. I survived. There was quite a headwind on the bike course. I don’t remember it being this bad last year, but maybe it was. At least it had warmed up a bit during my 3 hour wait! A few guys passed me on the bike and I played cat-and-mouse with another woman racked next to me in transition. She passed me and then I quickly passed her again. She passed me again about half way through the course. As she rode by me she commented that I was tough to catch. I later caught up to her in T2 so she didn’t finish much before me. I had a decent bike considering very little training. Last year I finished the bike in 36:06 and this year I finished in 36:47. I was only about 40 seconds slower this year so I’ll take it! And as a bonus, I averaged 142 watts with a VI of 1.05. That’s really good for me!

Bike: 36:47 (18.8mph) 2/15 AG; 126/253 OA

The Run

Last year I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to run. This year I knew I could, but it would be slower than molasses! I’ve been running a few times a week lately, but focused on slow, MAF training style to build my aerobic base. I haven’t done any speed work since 2012. I felt okay on the run. I was in a comfortable pace. I wasn’t out of breath, but it was work. I could have pushed it more, but I just went with it. I passed some people and a few guys passed me. For the most part I was running alone. There were no age group marking on the legs this year, which I did not like. I could not tell who was in my age group. I passed the woman who I played cat-and-mouse with on the bike. I chatted with her for a minute or two and then finally passed her for good. Most of the run course is on trails and grass. It’s not my favorite footing. I’d much rather run on pavement. Last year I managed to hobble a 28:04 run with my knee injury. This year I was slower at 28:36, but I’m pretty sure it was long this year. My Garmin read 3.2 miles instead of the supposed 3 miles.

Run: 28:36 (9:32/mile) 6/15 AG; 146/253 OA

Overall, it was an okay race. I didn’t have high expectations for this race since I didn’t train for it. Honestly, I thought about skipping it, but decided to use it to “brush off the dust” and perhaps motivate myself to begin training more seriously for Timberman 70.3 in August. But, right now, my focus is on my upcoming vacation to Belize and Guatemala in a week! I ended up placing 3rd in my age group and finishing in 1:17:47. Last year I finished in 1:15:44. I was within a minute of the 2nd place girl as well. Next race is most likely the Norway Tri in July. Maybe I’ll actually traing for this one…

My "trophy"

My “trophy”

Finish: 1:17:47; 3/15 AG; 41/119 W; 132/253 OA

~ Happy Training!

 

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3 thoughts on “Race Report: PolarBear Sprint Tri

  1. Pingback: Weekend in Photos | Diaries of a Wandering Lobster

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